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The essays focus on two sets of rituals; those in and around the temple of Jagannath in Puri mostly through the lens of the rituals of the Devadasis and the other, the festival of Raja Parba carried out at Bali Haracandi some 20 km south of Puri, celebrating the menses of the earth, the sea, the goddess and women.
Part I: Shakti: Regenerating the World through Illness, Death, and Female Sexuality
2. Types of Oppositions in Hindu Culture
3. Female Sexuality in the Hindu World
4. Who has the Potency?
5. Death and Regeneration: Brahmin and Non-Brahmin Narratives
6. Smallpox in two Systems of Knowledge
Part II: Deconstructing Modernist Categories: The 'Subaltern"; The 'Third World Woman'; The 'Sacred' History
7. Gender and the Unitary Self: Looking for the Subaltern in Coastal Orissa
8. Feminist Orientalism and Development
9. Secularism, Unicity, and Diversity: The Case of Haracandi's Grove
10. Rhythms of Life: Ritual, Time, and Historical Time